Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Video: register for the World Social Forum Free Palestine in Brazil - Nov 28 to Dec 1 2012 Porto Alegre

The WSF Free Palestine will be a global encounter of broad-based popular and civil society mobilizations from around the world.

We call on all organizations, movements, networks, and unions across the globe to join the WSF Free Palestine in November 28 - December 1 2012 in Porto Alegre.

Register for the World Social Forum Free Palestine here

Hamas military wing: 3 rockets fired at Israeli military vehicles near Rafah

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas' military wing, the Izz Addin Al-Qassam Brigades, on Wednesday claimed that it fired three rockets at Israeli military vehicles east of Rafah, a statement said.

Four bulldozers and three tanks had reportedly entered a border area by Sufa crossing, east of Rafah, a Ma'an correspondent said.

The brigades said they launched three rockets at the vehicles, causing them to withdraw. more

Russell Tribunal conclusion: U.S. facilitates Israeli immunity and impunity

After two long days of expert testimony, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine wrapped up Sunday night (see Ethan Heitner's reports and sketches of the days here and here). Then yesterday, the tribunal’s jury presented its findings to a United Nations committee--findings that Israel “has achieved a status of immunity and impunity by [its] complete disregard for the norms and standards of international law facilitated by the US.” The executive summary of these findings has now been published.

The conclusion was essentially preordained, but its importance lies in the fact that the findings were presented by a jury full of luminaries like Angela Davis and Alice Walker to a United Nations body.

Among the other findings, the Russell Tribunal found that “various well-documented acts committed by Israel constitute violations of several basic rules of international law.” These violations include the right of self-determination and violation of various Security Council resolutions. Other Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights noted by the tribunal include: “the establishment of Israeli settlements”; “the expulsions of Palestinians from their territory”; and “military attacks against civilians, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against Gaza and Palestinian refugees camps.” more

Settlers uproot 300 olive trees near Ramallah

Palestinian sources reported Wednesday that several extremist Israeli settlers uprooted around 300 olive trees that belong to residents of Al-Mogheer village, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

The settlers carried their attack out during the early dawn hours, and fled the scene, local sources reported.

Head of the Al-Mogheer village council, Faraj An-Na’saan, stated that residents have not been able to enter their orchards that became isolated behind the Annexation Wall, and were recently informed that they will have access to their olive orchards to harvest them starting October 15.

The orchards are also located near illegal Israeli settlements that were built on lands that belong to residents of Al-Mogheer and Tormos Ayya villages.

An-Na’saan said that this attack is not an isolated incident as dozens of similar attacks have been carried out, and that the residents filed more than 200 complaints to the Israeli police, but the police failed to investigate the claims. more

Israel strikes Gaza after rocket fire, no injuries

The Israeli air force pounded targets in the northern Gaza Strip early on Wednesday, without causing casualties, following rocket fire on southern Israel, sources on both sides said.

Palestinian security sources confirmed the strike had hit a training camp in Beit Lahiya which was used by militants from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement.

“IAF aircraft targeted a terror tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip. Direct hits were identified,” a statement from the Israeli military said.

“The targeting is in response to over 40 rockets that were fired at Israel this week, with seven of them fired in the past 24 hours.”

Late on Tuesday, Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said five rockets had hit “close to the towns of Sderot and Netivot” which lie near the northern part of the Gaza border. There were no casualties or damage.

Early on Wednesday, a small group of radical Salafists claimed the rocket fire in a statement sent to AFP, saying it was in response to recent air strikes on Gaza. more

Rachel Corrie’s parents accept LennonOno grant for peace on behalf of their daughter

(Olympia, Washington – October 9, 2012) – On behalf of peace activist Rachel Corrie, her parents Craig and Cindy Corrie today accepted the 2012 LennonOno Grant for Peace presented by Yoko Ono in Reykjavik, Iceland. Ono also presented grants to performing artist and activist Lady Gaga, author John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man), and to the late author and journalist Christopher Hitchens (accepted by his widow Carol Blue Hitchens). At a ceremony in New York in September, three performers with the Russian band Pussy Riot, who remain imprisoned for their stand for freedom of speech and expression, also received the LennonOno award.

The October 9th event marks the birthdays of artist John Lennon and his son Sean.

Honoree Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American peace activist and human rights defender from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer March 16, 2003, as she stood nonviolently to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in Rafah, Gaza.

In the official announcement of the biennial award, IMAGINE PEACE notes the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation to which the monetary grant prize has been given. “In the wake of her killing, the Rachel Corrie Foundation continues the work that Rachel Corrie began. The Foundation conducts programs that foster connections between people, that build understanding, respect, and appreciation for differences, and that promote cooperation within and between local and global communities. The Foundation encourages and supports grassroots efforts in pursuit of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice, which they view as pre-requisites for world peace.” more